Friday, 27 June 2014

Baby quilts - Fun Projects

Want a fun project with consequences?  Try a baby quilt.  The consequences are all good.

1.  You can try something new both in piecing and quilting
2.   You can practice or develop quilting stitches
3.   The quilt can be donated to the obstetrics ward of a hospital to brighten an NICU, hug a preemie, take a baby home.

Yesterday I did a couple of baby quilts.  I used some pastel batik strips.  I tried to stitch them all in one length but they twisted and turned and right became wrong.  So I just zipped my rotary cutter through the strip near a join that was wrong sides out and then joined again.  It made for some unexpected changes in the strips and a bit of interest.  Like a road to travel,  a few twists and turns in a quilt provide interest.

Then I quilted them yesterday.  I love hearts in part because they express the emotions when a newborn is being cuddled and also no matter the size or shape they look good.  They are easy to do. I generally put a heart somewhere in my quilting. I also love a stitch I call ribbons which is to return over a meandering  line creating loops and turns like ribbon abandoned to do its thing.  But to join the hearts with a ribbon stitch would mean back tracking so I added a 3rd tracking between the hearts.  It worked.  This is something easy for a beginner as there is no back tracking and shapes are easy.  Here is that quilt.

Is this perfect?  No. Fun and useful, Yes.  Did I learn, Yes.

On thing is knowing how to fairly evenly fill in the available space.  When you get caught in a tight spot, stop, assess and continue.  Back track or travel as necessary but do not let it stop you or get you flustered.  You do this to relax or at least I hope you do.

The second quilt I did with a design I call Squash Blossom.  During the winter and when recovering from some surgery I sat and drew or doodled some quilting designs.  Plain meandering is not my thing nor is stippling.  I use them but not a whole quilt unless asked by a client.  Quilting is the embroidery of a quilter and that means interest, texture and purpose.  You have probably seen something like this elsewhere but for me this is Squash Blossoms.  One advantage of it is that you only need to travel over the outer curve of the middle petal.   Good for a beginner.  Learn travelling in bits and snatches.  It is less intimidating.

Now, if I have perked your interest, given you something you can use or sparked a desire to contribute to the local hospital this post has been worth it.  Go and have fun.  This was done on a long arm but is not restricted to one.   I enjoy using Hortense, my long arm, but quilting is quilting and for a baby a warm cuddly quilt is just that.  The care and love put into it remains the same.  


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